Half of fleet managers believe their drivers are ignoring bad weather warnings when they need to reach a destination, according to research from Autoglass.
The study also revealed 49% of fleet managers postponed or considered postponing fleet maintenance this year because of last year’s mild winter weather.
Only three in ten fleets increase their vehicle checks during periods of bad weather.
Furthermore, despite the importance of minimising time off the road and ensuring driver safety, the majority (72%) haven’t considered a fleet check from a vehicle glass provider ahead of the winter months.
Accidents occurring in poor weather conditions, or due to darker nights, cost fleets 21 hours off the road, on average.
Only one in ten fleets stated they’d experienced less than five hours off the road due to winter conditions.
Encouragingly, more than half (57.8%) of fleet managers intend to get existing chips repaired before the cold weather arrives, yet of this number 78% admit they have been putting it off.
The study also revealed managers’ top demands for winter fleet operations:
- 31% would like to see better in-vehicle safety systems
- 30% would like more education to be provided by their companies
- 24% would like to see increased awareness of how to keep vehicles in good and safe condition
- 10% would like every vehicle to have a bad weather kit
Jeremy Rochfort, national sales manager at Autoglass, said: “It is the responsibility of both the driver and fleet manager to ensure all vehicles are well equipped for winter driving.
“Giving a vehicle a quick once-over or booking in a check need only take ten minutes and could greatly reduce time spent off the roads.
“Importantly, these measures help can help fleets improve safety, during a time when driving conditions can quickly become dangerous.”
Autoglass’ tips for preparing for winter
- If you have a windscreen chip, always warm up a frosty windshield slowly, switching on the engine well before driving, setting the heater to blow gently against the glass. Better still, get it repaired.
- Replace windscreen wipers annually. If you don’t they can cause smearing and reduced visibility.
- When it’s icy, don’t use CD cases or credit cards to scrape the windscreen clear, they can could scratches on the glass.
- Make sure you check your vehicle regularly. Cleaning headlamps, keeping the battery in good condition, checking tyres and their tread.
- Keep an essential breakdown kit in your boot, with high-vis clothing, a torch, first-aid etc.